King Kamehameha chosen for Hawaii quarter
Apr. 24, 2007
By Mark Niesse, Writer
HONOLULU - Hawaii's state quarter will feature a picture of King Kamehameha
the Great overlooking a relief map of the main Hawaiian islands with the state's
Hawaiian language motto written on the coin.
Gov. Linda Lingle announced the design for the quarter Monday. It is to be
minted in fall 2008 as the last commemorative state quarter to be released.
The image of King Kamehameha, the island chain and the motto are meant to show
off Hawaii's originality rather than its tourist appeal. The state motto is "Ua
Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono," which translates to: "The life of the land is
perpetuated in righteousness.""Our essence is tied to our host culture, the
Native Hawaiian people, and this gives us a chance to express that to the
world," Lingle said. "That's what's important: who we feel we are as a people
and not how visitors feel about us."
This state quarter design was the most popular pick among more than 26,000
voters in an online poll, the Hawaii Commemorative Quarter Advisory Commission
and the governor.
The commission narrowed its favorite choice for the quarter to three pictures
Monday, and then the governor made the final selection. This design beat out
images showing a hula dancer and another one with King Kamehameha overlooking
Diamond Head rather than the islands.
"It was my personal favorite from the beginning," said Malia Hitch, a senior at
Kauai High School and a member of the commission. "It represents all of Hawaii.
I don't feel like Diamond Head represents all of Hawaii."
Hawaii's commemorative quarter may become popular among collectors because of
its uniqueness and because it will be the last produced, Lingle said.
The U.S. Mint implemented the 50 States Commemorative Coin Program in 1997.
State quarters are issued in the order in which the states ratified the
Constitution and joined the Union. Hawaii became the 50th state in 1959.
"Everyone is going to want to have it," Lingle said. "So many people have
visited here and they'll want to save this quarter."
The commission narrowed its choices for Hawaii's quarter to five images in
December, three of which depicted King Kamehameha, who unified the Hawaiian
Islands in the early 1800s.
The public was able to vote on its preference for the quarter on a Web site this
The image chosen by Lingle received the most votes, recording 28 percent.
The runner-up picture, with 24 percent of the vote, was nearly identical except
for the size and typeface of the design.
On the Net:
Hawaii Commemorative Quarter Advisory Commission: